Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Authorities in Somalia reported that a U.S. drone strike killed a high-ranking member of the Islamist terrorist group al-Shabab, hours before the country’s leaders agreed on a plan for upcoming elections in which national security will be a pivotal issue.
  • AMERICAS: Former Trump strategist Steve Bannon, who was arrested this week for defrauding donors to a Mexico border wall fundraising campaign, has said he is the victim of a “political hit job.”
  • ASIA: President Moon Jae-in’s national security adviser Suh Hoon reported he had “very good” and “enough” dialogue with Yang Jiechi, a senior Chinese official, during their meeting in Busan.
  • EUROPE: Two Moscow based correspondents for RFE/RL’s Russian Service have been expelled from Belarus after being detained by police in Minsk on August 21.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) expressed their support for a ceasefire in Libya, the UAE news agency WAM reported.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: A group of WeChat users in the US sued the Trump administration, challenging its ban on the messaging app, claiming that it had become an essential digital service for millions of Chinese-Americans.

Top Story

  • Germany: Poisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has arrived in the nation for treatment.
    • Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny has landed in Berlin’s Tegel airport for treatment after being transferred from a Siberian hospital, his spokesperson Kira Yarmysh noted on twitter.
    • Navalny is in stable condition after a flight from the Siberian city of Omsk to Berlin, where he is due to receive medical treatment, activist Jaka Bizilj told German tabloid Bild.
    • The Wife of Navalny claims there has been a coverup by Russian doctors, with them saying there were no traces of poison in his system.
    • Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the Kremlin wished Navalny a “speedy recovery.”
    • Reporting: DPA, Reuters, CNN, BBC,

Africa  

  • Tunisia: The nation welcomed cease-fire announcements made by the UN-backed Prime Minister of Libya, Fayez Serraj, and Speaker of the eastern-based parliament Aguila Saleh. (Xinhua)
  • Somalia: Authorities in the nation reported that a U.S. drone strike killed a high-ranking member of the Islamist terrorist group al-Shabab, hours before the country’s leaders agreed on a plan for upcoming elections in which national security will be a pivotal issue. (VOA)
  • South Africa: The nation has so far recorded a total of 603,338 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 3,398 new cases reported over the last 24 hours, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said. (Xinhua)

Americas  

  • Panama: The country will suspend all international flights for another month from Aug. 22 due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the Central American country’s civil aviation authorities announced. (Reuters)
  • United States: Former Trump strategist Steve Bannon, who was arrested this week for defrauding donors to a Mexico border wall fundraising campaign, has said he is the victim of a “political hit job.” (AFP)
  • United States: BHP (BHP.AX) reported it is going to evacuate non-essential staff from two offshore facilities as a pair of tropical storms take aim towards the Gulf Coast in a rare hurricane season event. (Reuters)

Asia  

  • Region: President Moon Jae-in’s national security adviser Suh Hoon reported he had “very good” and “enough” dialogue with Yang Jiechi, a senior Chinese official, during their meeting in Busan. (YNA)
  • Australia: The nation’s second-most populous state, Victoria, confirmed 13 new COVID-19 deaths, authorities reported, while further infections in the hotspot state stayed below 200 for the second consecutive day. (Reuters)
  • New Zealand: There were six newly reported cases of COVID-19 in the country, the Ministry of Health announced in a statement. (Xinhua)
  • South Korea:  Typhoon Bavi, forming off the east coast of Taiwan, is expected to hit the nation in the next week, the national weather agency reported. (YNA)

Europe

  • Belarus: Two Moscow based correspondents for RFE/RL’s Russian Service have been expelled from Belarus after being detained by police in Minsk on August 21. (RFE)
  • Germany: The interior ministry reported that at least 40 new cases of alleged extremism, mostly right-wing, were found among federal and state police forces in the first half of 2020, according to a recent news survey. (DPA)
  • Germany: National health authorities across the country reported 2,034 new cases, bringing the total number of infections so far to 232 082, the government’s Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for disease control reported. (DPA)
  • Russia: The Emergencies Ministry’s team has completed search and rescue operations in Yaroslavl, where the entrance of a residential building collapsed in the aftermath of a gas explosion, Oleg Bocharov, head of the regional department of the ministry, told reporters. (TASS)

Middle East

  • Region: The six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) expressed their support for a ceasefire in Libya, the UAE news agency WAM reported. (Reuters)
  • Iran: The defense minister will soon travel to Moscow for talks with Russian officials over issues of mutual interest, IRNA news agency said. (Xinhua) 
  • Israel: The army’s artillery bombed two lookout posts that belong to the Islamic Hamas movement’s militants in the Gaza Strip, Hamas security sources reported. (Xinhua)

Tech & Communications

  • Social Media:  A group of WeChat users in the US sued the Trump administration, challenging its ban on the messaging app, claiming that it had become an essential digital service for millions of Chinese-Americans. (FT)

World  

  • Cyclones:
    • Tropical Storm Laura
      • Location:17.3N 64.4W
      • Movement: WNW
      • Wind:45 mph
      • Pressure:1008 MB
    • Tropical Storm Marco
      • Location:19.1N 85.2W
      • Movement: NNW
      • Wind:40 mph
      • Pressure:1005 MB
  • Hurricanes: Northing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global
      • Confirmed Cases as of 22AUG20:22,968,146
      • Total Recovered Cases as of 22AUG20: 14,725,638
      • Deaths as of 22AUG20: 799,625
      • Countries with Confirmed Cases: 188
      • Sourcing: John Hopkins University
    • Ebola Virus Disease: DR Congo (11th Ebola outbreak figures from Equateur Province)
      • Confirmed Cases as of 15AUG20: 84
      • Probable Cases as of 15AUG20: 4
      • Deaths as of 15AUG20: 36
      • Sourcing: WHO

Tomorrow’s Outlook (23AUG20)

  • Asia-Pacific: ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting to be held in Vietnam.
  • Belarus: Opposition leaders to hold a massive demonstration in the capital Minsk.
  • MENA: Bulgaria Air to resume flights to Israel.
  • MENA: Qatari schools to begin online enrollment.

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